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May 23, 2012 09:04 AM

Planting apple trees

So I found my Zone 4 parents (they live in the Adirondacks) a roxbury russet apple tree, . Any tips on planting and pruning?

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  1. Great choice, Roxbury Russets are really delicious apples (and I don't just say that because I grew up & live near Boston!).

    I actually work for an organization that plants heirloom apple trees, and one of the most important things to keep in mind is that apples need another tree within at least a quarter / half mile (preferably closer) of a different variety in order to set fruit when it gets to that point. So if there are no other apple trees (including crab-apples) in or around your parents' yard, I would suggest getting another tree (not another Roxbury Russet) and planting it nearby.

    We have a list of instructions on our website that includes a video on planting apple trees: Elsewhere on our site we also have a list of other heirloom apple varieties that are great:

    Lots of community groups do apple pruning workshops, and pruning can get pretty complicated especially as trees age, so if there are any of those offered near your parents I would really recommend they consider attending an in-person workshop – it really helps to see an expert do it in person before you tackle your own trees!

    3 Replies
    1. re: GardenFresh

      Thanks GardenFresh! i don't think there are any more apple trees for a bit near by. I'll have to get them another one next year.

      1. re: adventuresinbaking

        I think I read that it is important that the two varieties lso bloom around the same time, something to keep in mind when looking for a second tree...


        1. re: Jerseygirl111

          This is correct. It's not just as simple as buying another apple tree and planting it nearby. I'm sure you can find a pollination compatability chart on-line somewhere, although, it might be hard to find one that includes roxbury russet.